Y Awenechen

About Y Awenechen

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    Y Awenechen is the beneficiary of a long history of priest-scientists (Gwyddons or Gwiddons), more commonly called Gwyddonydd or Derwydd (which is the Cymric word for the more common Latin 'Druid'). We have lived and maintained our traditions since 1792 in the U.S. Our clan membership is not ethnically based, although our ritual structure is Celtic - specifically Welsh. What is more important to us than dogma and ritual however, is the development of the deity within.

The Tylwyth Teg & Tuatha de Danann are an integral part of our clan structure we call the Awenechen. The Tylwyth Teg and Tuatha de Danann are historical deities - historical figures who have epitomized an archetypal universal pattern of forces in nature. As such, they are but further along the road that we all travel in search of an understanding of the Divine - within and without.

They are our friends, family, mentors, guides. With the Tylwyth Teg and Danann, our Ancestors, the Oldest Ones and the Nature Spirits, we humans also make up the "Awenechen" - a family of both the divine & man. A family as dear to us as any blood or love relationship. This relationship and fidelity to it is our true bond. We have no need of empty oaths or bloody threats. You are either a clan member - or not. It must always be your own choice. This gives our love for one another true value.

Our primary tenet is "Measure All Things by the Yardstick of Oneness." To us, the Concept of the One Boundless Being of which we are all a part transcends any ritual or dogma. Ritual and dogma are made to bring us closer to an understanding of our true relationship with the Universe, not exacerbate our ego's destructive Self-Importance. We know, through the lessons garnered by active application of this principle, that we are neither more nor less important than anyone, or anything, else. That freedom allows us clarity in our affairs and in the choices we make that affect ourselves and those around us.

Cerridwen the Great is the name we give to this Boundless One - She who is All Things. But make no mistake; Cerridwen the Great is no simple female goddess. She is, by our experience, called "She" for She "births" or creates life. She, as "All Things" is, by nature, neither bright nor dark, good nor evil, male nor female. She is both and neither. She is All Things, and we are all a part of Her, no matter our sex or individuality. The ancestors and nature spirits of our clan are our beloved family and friends who help us along our path, as we do for our own whom we love. They become our ideals to help us discipline our own minds and hearts. Thus may we, too, progress on the Great Journey, as they have. In the personalizing of the Great One that they symbolize for us, we humanize the One into components that our minds can comprehend. Therefore our pantheon of deities are valuable guides to understand the whole.

The Gwyddon approach to ritual is simplistic by most ritual standards. Our goal is to involve the 'old mind' or subconscious/creative emotional power while directing it with the intellectual or rational 'new mind'. A whole-brain experience. Our methods as practiced here in the States have been tried and true, remaining faithful to its spirit and practice for over 200 years.

One of our greatest challenges is a need to function in a society that does not conform to, or understand, who or what we are, and still maintain the core tenets of our traditions. Most insidious, have been insertions of similar but distinctly different belief systems into our own. Most prominently, in the 20th century, those of Wicca. There have been well-meaning attempts in the past to change our book's meaning; to 'modernize' it. Most have proven disastrous, some we've had to live with (as with the translation from Welsh to English). In our tradition's "Greater Book" (our core book of Gwyddon laws and ritual), less can certainly be said to be more. Inside seemingly simple phrasing, the insightful student is led to deep insights through hidden metaphors that lead to the old mind. We have seen that, with humans, the more we change, the more we remain the same. Inevitably, there is material written that is valuable to future generations, but we do not include this in our Greater Book. For these we have a 'Lesser Book'.

We are not Luddites, however. We embrace technology and all its uses. We are priest-scientists, by inclination. As comfortable discussing physics and Quantum Mechanics as we are the practice of worship. We prefer the incisive mind to belief. We want to 'know', not just have blind faith. This leads us to a need to stretch into the unknown, where Science is called Magic, to understand the whole of Natural Law.

This is not to say, either, that we are singular in our view. We have three classes of priest: Derwydd - Ritualists, Counselors, Administrators; Gwyddonydd - Natural Doctors, Seers and Scientists; Bardd - Artists, Poets and Historians. Each of these priesthoods have advanced schools of study.

We are proud of both our traditional roots and our modern branches. Like any other living thing, we will always change and grow. Come grow with us.

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Background copyright 2002, Shamyn Whitehawk.